- File Size: 5043 KB
- Print Length: 390 pages
- Publisher: WaterBrook (June 4, 2019)
- Publication Date: June 4, 2019
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07H73C4J9
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,950 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$15.99|
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The King's Mercy: A Novel Kindle Edition
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“The King’s Mercy is a compelling tale of the early frontier, where the wealthy flourish and the poor serve, but sometimes the lines between slavery and freedom are not what you think. Lori Benton is a master at weaving together a beautiful tapestry of cultures and traditions, and her characters will live on in my heart for years to come.”—Karen Barnett, award-winning author of Where the Fire Falls and The Road to Paradise
“In this beautifully written novel, Lori Benton sweeps readers back to North Carolina in the 1700s to a slave plantation that’s hosting a terrifying evil. Lori is an expert at capturing time and place, and her dual skills give us a powerful glimpse into the longings of both an indentured servant who craves his freedom and the much-loved daughter of his master. The King’s Mercy is an intriguing, compelling story about God’s mercy and poignant redemption for those who choose to follow Him.”—Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of Catching the Wind and Hidden Among the Stars
“Lori Benton is a master storyteller. She breathes life into her characters and historical settings, drawing you in so deep that when the phone rings, you find yourself saying, ‘What be that wee sound?’ Highly recommended!”—Karen Ball, writer and editor
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The story of Onesimus from the book of Philemon is the spiritual underpinning of this moving story. The title has a twofold meaning: the earthly “mercy” of the British king in transmitting the Jacobite rebel Alex MacKinnon to indenture in the colonies instead of sentencing him to the gallows; and the spiritual mercy of the King of kings in redeeming him from that rebellion to make of him a true servant. That truth applies equally to Joanna Carey, caught in a situation that grieves her heart, at first seeing no way to effect change, and then doubting her ability to bring about the vision God gives her.
There’s an old saying that a man meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. More truthfully one meets God on the path one takes to flee from Him. Some years after the setting of The King’s Mercy this theme was immortalized by John Newton in one of the most well-known and best-loved hymns ever written. It’s a theme poignantly recounted in this story of amazing grace, in which God turns into useful disciples for His kingdom both a rebel bent on fleeing from his sentence and a young woman longing to heal her broken world. Along the way Alex trades one kind of imprisonment for another as a captive among the Cherokee, leaving Joanna to face a chillingly evil villain alone, and both confront God through the faithful ministry of Rev. Pauling. In doing so, they also find each other. Our heavenly Father’s mercy is at times severe, but in submission to His will we find true freedom as The King’s Mercy illustrates so well.
Of the many thematic topics discussed in The King’s Mercy, I really love the inference to Esther 4:14. In Esther 4, Mordecai delivers a message to his niece, Esther. Esther is the only one who has the power to help her entire nation, but to do that she has to do something that could be extremely dangerous to herself. Naturally, she balks at the task. Mordecai tells her that it’s fine, someone else will rise to the challenge, but not doing the task will cause her and her family to be forgotten forever. He then utters one of the most famous lines in all the Bible: “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” The point Mordecai makes is that God does everything with purpose — nothing is an accident. Sure, Esther can do what’s best for herself, but perhaps God made her explicitly for this one task. To not do the task means to go against God’s purpose for her. When put in those terms, it’s difficult for Esther to ignore God’s call.
Alex MacKinnon is an Esther (as we all are). Like Esther, Alex needs a counselor who will help him realize that his walk on this earth is not random, but is with purpose. God puts us all exactly where we are supposed to be for a reason. Nothing is done by chance. It may feel that way, but it’s ultimately not. Alex’s life looks bad. He finds himself fighting for a cause that ultimately brands him a traitor to England. He is captured and sentenced to death, but at the last minute is granted the king’s mercy and sent to America where he is indentured for 7 years. Once he gets to America he begins his time as a servant, but realizes that things are not as they appear. He is drawn to the mistress of Severn, Edmund Carey’s daughter, Joanna, and gets the sense that she needs him. But how can that be? He’s basically a slave and she is the daughter of a plantation owner. How could he ever be someone Joanna would need? It takes a wise itinerant preacher to show Alex that he is at Severn for a purpose — for such a time as this — and his purpose may just be to save Joanna’s life and the lives of the many who call Severn home. It takes Alex a long while to figure it out, and makes for one adventurous read, but eventually he comes to understand what we all must understand: God does NOTHING by accident and we are ALL created for a purpose. We just need to trust in Him and He will see us through.
There really is a whole lot more I could say about The King’s Mercy; this review doesn’t do the novel justice. If you have not read this excellent story I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR list immediately. The King’s Mercy is a solid historical romance that I won’t soon forget!
I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on May 7, 2020, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
The widower's stepdaughter, Joanna Carey, tries to help keep things running as the plantation meets various setbacks. One of these is blamed on the new indenture, Alex, which leads to a turning point in the story.
There is a strong romance thread involving the two main characters and also a spiritual message which comes into sharp focus at the end of the story. The writing is strong. I would not recommend it for younger readers, however, because the villain is a little over-the-top.